Willys logo wallpaper
Willys Car history
Willys company underwent a name change a few of the more than 50 years of its existence. The name "Willys" and "Willys Overland" and "Jeep" was used in various sources as well as "WO" logo. I collected a few pictures of the logos, and would be delighted to receive more than you may have.
Willys was the brand used by the U.S. automobile company, Willys-Overland Motors, best known for his design and production of military jeeps (MBS) and civilian versions (CJS) during the twentieth century.
In 1908, John North Willys bought the Overland Automotive Division of Standard Wheel Company and in 1912 renamed it Willys-Overland Motor Company. From 1912 to 1918, Willys was the second largest producer of automobiles in the United States behind only the Ford Motor Company.
In 1913, Willys acquired a license to build the Charles Knight sleeve-valve engine used in cars bearing the nameplate Willys-Knight. In the mid 1920s, Willys also acquired the FB Stearns Company of Cleveland, Ohio, and assumed continued production of the Stearns Knight luxury car as well.
Factory in Toledo, Ohio, around 1915
John Willys acquired the Electric Auto-Lite Company in 1914 and in 1917 formed the Willys Corporation to act as its holding company. In 1916, they acquired the Russell Motor Car Company of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, in 1917 New Process Gear, and in 1919 acquired the Duesenberg Motor Company plant in Elizabeth, New Jersey. The New Jersey plant was replaced by a new larger, and was to be the production site for a new Willys six, but the 1920 recession brought the Willys Corporation knees. The bankers hired Walter P. Chrysler to fix the mess and the first model to go was the Willys six, considered an engineering disaster. Chrysler had auto engineers Owen Skelton and Carl Breer and Fred Zeder to begin work on a new car - the Chrysler Six.
But to raise the money needed to pay his debts, all the Willys Corporation assets were on the auction block. The Elizabeth plant and the Chrysler Six prototypes were sold to a William C. Durant, then in the process of building a new empire of others. The plant would be based Star for low prices, while the six prototypes of Chrysler will be improved and modified, becoming the 1923 Flint.
Walter Chrysler became Maxwell-Chalmers, where in January 1924 launched its own version of the six-cylinder Chrysler had been working, still based in part on elements originally developed at Willys. (In 1925 the Maxwell car company would become the Chrysler Corporation).
In 1926, production of the Overland ended and was replaced by the Whippet brand of small cars. Following the 1929 market crash and economic depression that soon followed, a series of Willys automotive brands began to falter. Stearns-Knight was liquidated in 1929. Whippet production ended in 1931, its models replaced by the Willys six and eight. Production of the Willys-Knight ended in 1933.
At this point Willys decided to clear the boards and produce two new models - the 4-cylinder Willys 77 and the 6-cylinder Willys 99 - but the company was on the verge of bankruptcy again, so that only 77 went into production. They were forced to sell its Canadian subsidiary, itself in a weak financial position, and began a massive reorganization. Here, only the main assembly plant and some smaller factories remained property of Willys-Overland. The rest was sold to a new holding company that leased some of the properties back to the WMO. The company was able to ride out the storm.
Click here for more information on the Willys History, Design and Meaning of Car Logos The logos are registered trademarks. Use of the logo here does not imply endorsement of the organization by this site.